Chester W. Kuta
Biography: Chester Walter Kuta was born on December 6, 1918, in Chicago, Illinois. He was the son of Stanley Kuta and Frances Kasza and attended Whittier Grammar and Harrison High School through the 11th grade. His enlistment record identifies his occupation as semiskilled blaster and powderman, working with explosives. In his spare time, he enjoyed watching the Cubs play at Wrigley Field.
Service Time: Chester entered the service on April 3, 1941, in Chicago. He was assigned to Company B of the 628th Tank Destroyer Battalion. The unit shipped from the New York port on January 29, 1944, on the Aquitania, and arrived at Greenock, Scotland, on February 6th. They spent a few months receiving additional training and preparing for landing in Northern France.
The unit boarded transports and disembarked at Utah Beach on July 30, equipped with M10s. They were committed to battle on August 2nd near Periers, France, and participated in the envelopment of the Falaise Pocket. They then dashed east to the Belgian border, arriving on September 2nd and helped liberate Luxembourg. On September 13th they began an assault on the Siegfried Line.
The 628th conducted artillery missions in October and converted to the M36 tank destroyer in November. They were then committed to fighting in the Hürtgen Forest in December but shifted to the Aachen, Germany, sector on the 8th, only to be ordered to the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge. They fought to eliminate the Bulge in January 1945, and on January 7th, Company B and a Reconnaissance Platoon were supporting the 505th Parachute Infantry in an attack near Manhay, Belgium. Corporal Chester W. Kuta, along with 7 other men from Co. B, was killed in action when two M36's were destroyed by enemy actions. Chester was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart.
Chester was brought back to the U.S. and buried in the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky. The other men shown on Chester's grave marker, T5 William Ayers and Pvt. Charles W. Hill, were two of the other men that died that day with Chester. It is fitting that they would remain together.
I want to thank Chester's nephew, John, for providing the information and photos for this tribute.